WWF Madison Square Garden – January 29th, 1993

January 29, 1993

This is a fan-cam recording of the “Headlock for Hunger” benefit show for the Somalia Relief Fund. The show was advertised all over the syndicated shows Not all of the matches were recorded though. The following matches were excluded: El Matador vs. Skinner, Steiner Brothers vs. Beverly Brothers, and Shawn Michaels vs. Bob Backlund. And, my copy had problems with the last match of IRS vs. Undertaker so I did not recap that classic.

 

The show starts off with wrestlers and agents surrounding the ring. Okerlund then introduces the wrestlers at ringside. Strong reactions for Mr. Perfect, Steiner Brothers, and Undertaker. Legends Arnold Skaaland, Sgt. Slaughter, JJ Dillon, Tony Garea, Pat Patterson, and Linda & Vince McMahon are also announced. Vince & Linda get booed and Tony Garea gets cheered a lot. Slick then thanks the crowd for donating then Bret Hart comes out with a $100,000 check for the Red Cross. Segment lasted over ten minutes. The company was desperately trying to get some good PR going. However, they got bad press from the Crush/Doink attack and would get more bad press from another upcoming angle.

 

“Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase w/ Jimmy Hart vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage

This match headlined MSG for three months straight over four years ago. Savage pumps up the crowd then gets into a shoving match with DiBiase. DiBiase stalls after a cheap shot and keeps running around the ring and ducking between the ropes. We finally get some action as Savage beats on DiBiase outside of the ring then heads back in and uses a clothesline for a nearfall. Savage works a side headlock on the mat. Someone walks in front of the camera just before DiBiase escapes but Savage takes him back down after a brief flurry of offense. Hart jumps up onto the apron for a distraction then DiBiase attacks Savage from behind before tossing him outside. DiBiase heads out to ram Savage’s head off of the steps a few times. DiBiase elbows Savage in the throat but Savage comes back with a sunset flip for a two count. DiBiase stomps Savage several times for a two count of his own then ducks his head again as Savage takes him down with a backslide for another two count. DiBiase uses a mat slam then hits a vertical suplex that gets two. DiBiase now uses a chinlock but Savage escapes then sends DiBiase over the top rope with a high knee. Savage rams DiBiase into the apron before flying out with a double axe handle then rolls DiBiase back inside but misses the flying elbow drop. DiBiase now puts Savage in the Million Dollar Dream But Savage is able to back DiBiase into the corner. DiBiase gets caught with a punch coming off of the middle rope then blocks a sunset flip only to turn around and get hit with a DDT as Savage gets the win (13:03) **1/4.

Thoughts: Savage worked hard but DiBiase clearly was just going through the motions here. I know he was hurting at this time due to the injuries he had accumulated throughout his career but he seemed to have little desire to wrestle anymore.

 

Damien Demento vs. Tatanka

Demento talks to the voices in the head for a bit then we finally get a lockup. Tatanka nearly puts Demento away with a small package then applies a hammerlock that Demento breaks by reaching the ropes. Demento continues to respond to the voices and taunts the crowd but ducks between the ropes to avoid an attack. After more stalling from Demento he grabs a side headlock as the boring chants break out. Tatanka tosses Demento outside and heads out to land a few chops. Demento rolls back outside to taunt the fans then returns as Tatanka takes him over with a hip toss. Tatanka chops Demento in the corner and follows with a clothesline but Demento rakes the eyes and lands some chops and thrusts off his own. Demento catches Tatanka with a clothesline then works a chinlock on the mat as a few people walk in front of the camera. Tatanka escapes then fires up as the view is partially blocked. Tatanka fires up quickly before using the Samoan Drop for the win (8:53) 1/2*.

Thoughts: Most of the match was Demento stalling and yelling at the fans. Tatanka’s brief offensive flurries were the only good thing in the match.

 

WWF World Heavyweight Title Match: Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Bret “The Hitman” Hart (c)

Bigelow overpowers Bret to start. Bret fights back and goes after the arm then falls on top of Bigelow after being pressed up in the air as that gets two. Bret fires away and dropkicks Bigelow to the floor as Bigelow takes a big bump on that one. Bret heads out but gets rammed into the post twice. Back inside, Bigelow beats on Bret and keeps it at a deliberate pace. Bigelow uses a bearhug for a while then knocks Bret down to prevent an escape. Bigelow now uses a backbreaker submission as someone from the crowd keeps wanting Bigelow to break his back. Bret pushes off in the corner and flips over before getting a two count but Bigelow knocks him back down. We then jump ahead it seems with Bret getting a nearfall. Bret comes off the middle rope with a bulldog then tries for the sharpshooter but gets pushed down. Bigelow puts Bret in another bearhug then falls on top after Bret tried a Saito suplex and gets a two count. Bigelow then has Bret up on his shoulders but Bret turns that into a victory roll and the win (11:53) **1/2.

Thoughts: Solid but certainly not the best match these two have had together. Bigelow did generic big man offense only but bumped well and Bret’s offense looked crisp.

 

Virgil & Jim Powers vs. The Headshrinkers w/ Afa

Powers is subbing for Jim Duggan according to thehistoryofwwe.com. Best part of this fan-cam is hearing some concession worker selling ice cream bars and hearing his voice crack. Samu starts off by shoving Virgil around. Virgil stomps Samu’s foot and hits a dropkick then a crossbody but ends up trapped in the opposing corner. Virgil escapes then Fatu tags in and challenges for a test-of-strength but Virgil works the arm. Powers tags in and blocks a monkey flip with a kick to the face then gets two with a clothesline. Virgil is back in but eats a thrust kick then Fatu knocks Powers off of the apron. The Headshrinkers double-team Virgil briefly but continue to neutralize him in their corner. The crowd chants for Virgil as The Headshrinkers cut the ring in half. Samu misses a corner splash then Virgil finally tags out as Powers runs wild on Fatu then on both Headshrinkers. The match completely breaks down with Virgil getting tossed then Fatu putting Powers away with a top rope splash (10:05) **1/2.

Thoughts: Believe it or not this was a solid match. The crowd was into Virgil and Powers probably had one of the best hot tags in his career. The Headshrinkers are slowly being built up as a top team.

 

Mr. Perfect vs. Ric Flair

We start off with a fast-paced sequence than ends in a stalemate. Flair cheap shots Perfect in the corner but Perfect responds with several chops. Flair begs for mercy in the corner then rakes Perfect in the eyes. Flair then tosses Perfect outside and hits him with a knee drop when he returns. Flair heads up top but Perfect slams him off then applies the figure four. Flair reaches the ropes so Perfect gets up and punches away. Flair is able to kick Perfect low as we see Sgt. Slaughter come out and eject Heenan after Heenan had appeared to have given Flair something. Flair puts on a sleeper. Flair the kicks Perfect a few times but Perfect catches Flair with a sleeper. Flair breaks up a sleeper with a shinbreaker then puts Perfect in the figure four and grabs the ropes for leverage when possible. Flair attacks Perfect’s leg but Perfect fights back. Perfect wins a slugfest then clotheslines Flair over the top rope but Flair pulls him outside. Perfect rams Flair into the post then they head back inside and fight over a backslide as Perfect wins that battle and gets a two count. Flair chops Perfect but Perfect no-sells and backs Flair up before firing away. Perfect back drops Flair then fires away in the corner. Perfect catches Flair coming off of the top with a punch and after that hits a clothesline for two. Flair cheap shots Perfect in the corner then nails him with the illegal object given to him by Heenan. Flair puts the object in his tights and makes the cover but only gets two. Flair tries to suplex Perfect outside but Perfect reverses and gets a two count. Flair breaks up a back drop with an elbow smash then tries a back drop of his own but Perfect stops and hits a Perfect Plex. Razor Ramon though comes out and breaks up the pin for the DQ (16:02) ***1/4. Razor beats the crap out of Perfect at ringside.

Thoughts: Good match that was quite similar to their match that aired a few nights prior on “Monday Night RAW” but I thought the finish was dumb. Sure, Razor and Perfect still had their beef but Flair was finishing up with the company and on TV they were transitioning Perfect into a feud with Lex Luger so why have a DQ finish and have Perfect get the shit kicked out of him? Razor’s beatdown did look good but why even bother?

 

Howard Finkel shills the Headlock on Hunger t-shirts and that the proceeds will go to the Red Cross Somalian Relief Fund.

 

The Berzerker vs. Typhoon

We get some slow pacing before they finally lockup.  Typhoon grabs a side headlock then knocks Berzerker over the top rope with a shoulder block. Berzerker paces around the ring then returns to issue a test-of-strength and they stall for a minute until finally locking up. Berzerker gets shoved back and flips over the top rope but Berzerker returns to choke Typhoon out against the ropes. The crowd gets restless as this match has been painfully boring then Berzerker covers and gets two. Typhoon reverses an Irish whip in the corner but misses an avalanche. Typhoon comes back with an atomic drop then finally hits the avalanche before using a splash for the win (6:07) -*.

Thoughts: I have no idea who put this match together but having Berzerker using dated stalling tactics is about as dumb as it gets. The test-of-strength spot was atrocious. Berzerker wound up quitting a few days later and Typhoon found himself becoming a lower card worker with minimal TV appearances over the next few months.

 

Howard Finkel leads us in a ten bell salute for the recently deceased Andre the Giant. He passed away on the 27th at 46 years old. After that the crowd loudly cheers for Andre.

 

Razor Ramon vs. Big Bossman

The match starts off at a slow pace then Razor bails after Bossman takes him over with a hip toss. Razor returns to challenge for a test-of-strength as both men fight over that is so thrilling the person holding the camera pans to the crowd. This is now drawing boos because its so dull then Bossman finally reverses. Razor sends Bossman into the corner then hammers away in the corner. Razor taunts the crowd but ducks his head for a back drop and gets hit with an uppercut. Bossman scoops Razor up for a slam then lands mounted punches in the corner but misses a charge and Razor rolls him up and grabs the tights for the win (8:57) DUD.

Thoughts: Yikes, another awful match. I have no idea why they decided to follow Berzerker vs. Typhoon with this dogshit. Bossman was completely useless but at least Razor’s strikes looked okay and the last minute had some action as opposed to zero action in the prior match.

 

Final Thoughts: There was some good matches here and a few others that might have been but were not shown on this copy. The attendance was 12,000 and a notable increase from prior MSG shows. The whole show apparently lasted 3.5 hours and if it was filmed by the company would be a cool addition to the Network. They did show clips of Bret presenting the check to the Red Cross on TV and seeing this show in better quality would  be nice but the fan cam copy was good enough. Anyway, if you can get this show there are a few matches worth watching but the last two I recapped you should skip altogether.

 

 

Here is my schedule for the next several days:

Thursday: WWF Superstars 1/30/93, WWF Wrestling Challenge 1/31/93

Friday: WWF Monday Night RAW 2/1/93

Saturday: Mid-South Wrestling 3/29/84

Monday: WWF Superstars 2/6/93, WWF Wrestling Challenge 2/7/93

Tuesday: WWF Superstars 2/13/93, WWF Wrestling Challenge 2/14/93

Wednesday: WWF Monday Night RAW 2/15/93